On 28 March 2012 the joint UN Commentary on selected articles of the EU Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting victims was launched at the European Parliament. The launch was hosted by MEPs Anna Hedh and Edit Bauer, co-rapporteurs on the EU Directive.
In its joint commentary, the UN welcomes the EU Directive and provides additional guidance on the application of a human rights-based approach to the transposition in national legislation of the EU instrument and its implementation by Member States.
Currently, the EU Directive is in the process of being transposed into national legislation by the 26 EU Member States who are taking part in the Directive.
During the launch EU representatives, EU permanent representations and civil society organizations welcomed the UN Commentary. The UN reiterated their readiness to support EU Member States in the transposition of the EU Directive, and discuss queries related to the recommendations made in the commentary.
Over the past decade, the European Union has stepped up its efforts to fight human trafficking strengthening its focus on prevention and protection of victims. The adoption of the 2011 Directive on preventing and combating trafficking in human beings and protecting its victims, replacing Council Framework Decision, is the most recent sign of the continued commitment of the European Union in this field. The Directive represents a critical step in addressing human trafficking comprehensively.
The joint UN Commentary on the Directive aims to support the efforts of EU Member States to transpose the Directive into national legislation, and provides practical guidance on the implementation of the EU instrument, ensuring that human rights are mainstreamed.
The Commentary is grounded in a comprehensive approach, acknowledging that trafficking is both a crime and a human rights violation and that the State has primary responsibility to respect, protect and promote the rights of all trafficked persons regardless of their country of origin. It puts human rights at the centre of all the efforts, including when dealing with criminal matters.
The commentary on selected provisions of the Directive is complemented by boxes with the relevant international standards and examples of good practice also provide a series of concrete recommendations to EU Member States.